Both Russia and Qatar have been cleared of any wrong doing in terms of their bid for the 2018 and 2022 world cups respectively, according to a report released by the FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. The report said that there were minor infractions that had indeed occurred during the bidding process, but they were not big enough to justify cancelling the award of the World Cup. “The effects of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it,” Eckert’s statement said. “The assessment of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process is therefore closed for the FIFA Ethics Committee.” While Eckert did not find any fault with the Qatar bidding team itself, while also noting that it had only a distant relationship with disgraced Asian football confederation head Mohamed bin Hammam, Eckert was critical of the English FA for the way […]

The idea of Manchester United playing mid week friendlies abroad in the absence of European competition this season has resulted in a huge debate amongst the various people connected with the football club. Manchester United have never been afraid to chart out their own path even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way. One of the most famous instances highlighting this fact is from the summer of 1956 when The Red Devils became the first English team to compete in the European Cup. The English FA were against United entering the competition and had stopped Chelsea from competing a season earlier. Their rationale was that the European Cup would take away some of the sheen from the domestic league and would undermine its integrity. But United & Sir Matt Busby did not budge and took part in the competition and since then the club have had a storied relationship with the European Cup. Fast forward 43 years […]

With Manchester City on the verge of a Premier League title and only having three English players eligible for a winner’s medal, some have called for the English FA to change the home-grown rule. While the rule may need to be changed, a look at the rule, the incentives it creates, and how the rule operates in the environment of European football is needed. Also, one should consider if the goals of the FA come at too great a cost to the rest of footballing society. What is the FA’s Home-Grown Rule? Premier League clubs do not face explicit restrictions on squad size. A side can have any number of under-21 (age 21 or younger) players on the squad. Premier League clubs can have a maximum of 25 players over the age of 21 in their squad. So, if a club wanted a squad with more than 25 players, only 25 slots could go to players older than 21. The […]